Juggler

so… i’m — aahh — i had a poem in the stu­dent lit­er­ary mag­a­zine, The Jug­gler. does that make me a pub­lished poet? or does it have to count else­where? can i call myself a poet now or is that still pre­ma­ture?

i was also induct­ed into the lamb­da alpha beta chap­ter of the Anthro­pol­o­gy Hon­or Soci­ety. I got a groovy card and a cer­tifi­cate. I don’t real­ly know what it means to be what­ev­er I am now. In fact, I think it is just a thing to say that you are and has no real mean­ing or impact. Kin­da like Shriners. Or maybe not, cuz Shriners get to dri­ve around in go-carts at parades and they get to wear fezzes (sp? fezi?). More like a mem­ber of Con­gress. Yeah, def­i­nite­ly con­gress.

Feedback

yesterday’s poet­ry feed­back group was less than help­ful in most ways, but more than help­ful in one major way. My writ­ing, and dic­tion, needs to change unless i want to alien­ate read­ers and have them dis­miss my work. appar­ent­ly, and i can see this quite eas­i­ly, my ter­mi­nol­o­gy is a bit archa­ic, peo­ple can’t get their head around my lan­guage con­struc­tions, and there­fore can­not grasp my intent.

i also, and this is equal­ly impor­tant, and from my own real­iza­tions, need to come up with top­ics to write about that aren’t quite so cere­bral. i think i often use poet­ry as a form to speak on what­ev­er has been cog­i­tat­ing in the ole nog­gin. per­haps instead of tak­ing some­thing abstract and putting it into tan­gi­ble per­haps I should get my hands in the clay before cre­at­ing the pot.

thus, i must change, in order to reach read­ers i have to be able to cre­ate the scene with con­tem­po­rary lan­guage. this presents a prob­lem for me because i have trou­ble mak­ing images and sit­u­a­tions sound fresh and when i try to spice things up i inevitably get a bit old-fash­ioned. i need to fig­ure out how to direct myself toward the future or tap into the present instead of using the past as my recourse. how do i do this?

Hindenberg

some­times i wor­ry that peo­ple will think i’m a pos­er because i am just inter­est­ed enough in some­thing to find out a bit about it, engage myself with­in it, and ride for a bit. then, when ques­tioned upon said some­thing i can­not sat­is­fy that person’s require­ments of knowl­edge and fail­ure ensues. both of us fail, i fail to sat­is­fy and they fail because they assume and label me incor­rect­ly. then they fail because they think i am a pos­er when i am real­ly not try­ing to be any­thing at all. appar­ent­ly i have an apa­thy on the order of the hin­den­berg to actu­al­ly become any­thing. either that or i’m hap­py being me. some­times i think they are the same thing.

Sophomore Year 2001–2002

this year was my sec­ond best in col­lege, most­ly due to being on the fenc­ing team, which let me expel my — excess — ener­gies. i also declared my majors, Anthro­pol­o­gy and Film & Tele­vi­sion, and got firm­ly into the swing of my class­es. First semes­ter I got a pity D in my Clas­si­cal Greek 103 class most­ly because I was one of three under­grad­u­ates in a class of grad­u­ate the­ol­o­gy stu­dents, thus the pro­fes­sor struc­tured the class toward them and did not real­ize it until it was too late for myself and anoth­er under­grad. The third under­grad had tak­en Greek in High School and was the best in class at trans­lat­ing the Ili­ad.

I took an exis­ten­tial­ist phi­los­o­phy class, and real­ly got into that for awhile. I saw myself as an exis­ten­tial­ist of the Albert Camus school, except instead of being auto­mat­ic in my life of absur­di­ty, i laughed along with it.Thus, when the cam­pus sprin­klers would turn on and spray me, i could do noth­ing more than shake a rue­ful head. some things (the sprin­klers for instance) nev­er change.

i still lived in sec­tion 4B, and it was great to have a group of fresh­men in the sec­tion. We told them to do things and they did them. hehe. I also made a good friend out of Jere­my May, a new guy in 4B but a senior, who lived at the end of the hall. Through, him I also became friends with Steve Luke who spent inor­di­nate amounts of time in my room play­ing Playsta­tion (46 hours in one week that we kept track of).

Room­ing with Mike was pret­ty darn good, apart from his taste in music which i thought rather taste­less. Our room was the com­mon room for much of the sec­tion and it would not sur­prise either of us to come back from class­es and find some­one else in the room doing some­thing (usu­al­ly steve).

the foot­ball sea­son was much bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous year, we were 9–2 and went to the Fies­ta Bowl, a deba­cle where we were beat­en to death by Beavers from Ore­gon State. On the fenc­ing end of my sports life, i was work­ing my tail off, com­ing in ear­ly and doing drills, beg­ging for lessons, etc. I began to improve slow­ly, and my big break came when my cap­tain Jan had to be in Cuba for a fenc­ing tour­na­ment the same week­end of one of our tour­neys at North­west­ern. Thus, I got to trav­el, I did rel­a­tive­ly well for my first col­le­giate fenc­ing expe­ri­ence and by the end of the year I had man­aged to win enough bouts to mono­gram, a feat I was told was impres­sive for first year walkons. (PUFF PUFF EGO PUFF PUFF)

my love life sucked, but i also wasn’t try­ing that hard. I was sex­iled for a 17 hour stretch one evening/night/morning by my room­mate who let his girl­friend “acci­den­tal­ly” sleep past vis­it­ing hours and then told her she would have to spend the night. I spent the night on a couch in the sec­tion lounge. I then wrote about this in Harlem’s Hitlist, the vul­gar sec­tion newslet­ter i wrote for the sec­tion in place of the incred­i­bly spo­radic ‘Roos News. This newslet­ter, quite harm­less real­ly, picked on par­tic­u­lar peo­ple in the sec­tion each week, but the per­son picked on was always in good humor about it. except the RA, he took it upon him­self, and also the rec­tor, who hap­pened to read my most offen­sive ver­sion to tell me to cease and desist, i instead took it under­ground and dis­trib­uted it via email. i can­not be stopped.

I final­ly man­aged to get into the intro­duc­to­ry film course, sec­ond semes­ter of my sopho­more year, after jump­ing through flam­ing hoops and wad­ing through piran­ha infest­ed waters. i had declared as a major yet they (the depart­ment) still would not give me a spot. I even­tu­al­ly got a spot through the gen­er­al reg­is­tra­tion peri­od, but because of the Film department’s extreme help­ful­ness, I was two semes­ters behind and there­fore I was nev­er able to take Advanced Film Pro­duc­tion or Pro Video Pro­duc­tion.

Thus endeth the year of the half-wise.

Freshman Year 1999–2001

This is sup­posed to be the tough­est year of col­lege, and in terms of intel­lec­tu­al growth that rings true. Although personal/social growth would also top this list if not for my Junior year. That comes lat­er how­ev­er.

I sup­pose I was a bit scared about going to col­lege and liv­ing in an 8′ x 14′ room with some­one I had nev­er met before and shar­ing anoth­er room with two oth­er peo­ple I had nev­er met before. Actu­al­ly, per­haps I was quite scared, or even ter­ri­fied. Need­less to say, my lifestyle was not suit­ed to that of my room­mates. I did not have a fake ID, nor did I drink. at all. I also liked my sleep, 8 hours if I could get it. My room­mate Mike Lane and my oth­er quad­mates John Antonuc­ci and Paul Buser were all busi­ness majors, whilst I was an Arts & Let­ters major. Busi­ness majors have it eas­i­est here at Notre Dame in regard to class dif­fi­cul­ty and course work (with the pos­si­ble excep­tion of the Soci­ol­o­gy Dept.) and they would often throw impromp­tu par­ties 2 or 3 times a week. On nights when they didn’t have par­ties they often went to the Boat Club and stum­bled back usu­al­ly at 5 in the morn­ing. This hap­pened pret­ty much the whole year.

On top of this, my room­mate, who drank at least 5 times a week, and skipped most of his class­es most of the time sleep­ing off the alco­hol man­aged to swing a 4.0 his first sem­ster, while I strug­gled with chem­istry and cal­cu­lus and got a 2.7.

As for the oth­er fresh­men in my sec­tion I was the only A&L major. 14 total fresh­men, 3 pre-med, 1 engi­neer­ing, 1 A&L, and 9 busi­ness majors. The upper­class­men con­sist­ed to a great major­i­ty of sopho­mores who were nice but had their own things to do, some juniors who I nev­er even talked to, and a group of seniors who I owe quite a bit to.

The foot­ball games took a bit of get­ting used to, but here I knew what to do, hid­ing in plain sight cov­ered in blue and gold body paint with a bright blue wig. The seats were in the cor­ner as is usu­al for fresh­men, but we were also the heart from whence all spir­it was pumped. Bob Davie was the unfor­tu­nate coach at this time. He sucks. The tail­gat­ing before the games was not great fun how­ev­er, drink­ing drink­ing drink­ing every­where. Was there noth­ing else to do at ND?

I strug­gled with this, even to the point of con­sid­er­ing a trans­fer to a state school where it was eas­i­er to get off cam­pus, where many off cam­pus places are geared toward the stu­dents and to where I wouldn’t feel as pres­sured to drink, and to where the gen­der rela­tions would be some­thing approach­ing nor­mal for col­lege stu­dents. Appar­ent­ly, that didn’t hap­pen — although per­haps it did in an alter­nate uni­verse.

The seniors Jes s Morales, Liam Thide­mann, and AJ Boyd, and my RA Joe Hyder had a great deal to do with pulling me out of my shell. There was this nasty con­coc­tion that the DH would serve about once every two weeks called Toad-In-The-Hole. I will not describe it suf­fice to say it was hor­ren­dous. Each time it was served I would smug­gle out one more than the last time and present them to my RA in cre­ative ways (ex: The Blair Toad Project). He had no idea who it was until some­one snitched. But it was all in good fun. The seniors who deshelled me to some extent did so when one day Jes s noticed that I had a Mag­ic deck. He also played. and from there it was down­hill.

We start­ed play­ing mag­ic, which led to Star­craft, which led to me allow­ing them to set me up for the Char­i­ot Race dance. Which led to me meet­ing Bri­an Johnsen. Which led me to meet­ing Bri­an Stone, who when I expressed an inter­est in learn­ing to fence agreed to teach me to do so, as he was the assis­tant coach of the fenc­ing team. So its a good thing I played Mag­ic or I would be a total­ly dif­fer­ent per­son today.

I also made a friend from out east named Abby. I met her through AIM and she came out to vis­it me on her spring break and I rec­i­p­ro­cat­ed once the school year end­ed. I last spoke with her dur­ing this last sum­mer but per­haps she still reads this.

Oth­er notable things that hap­pened my fresh­man year: I saw the Smash­ing Pump­kins for the first time at Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty where I vis­it­ed my friends Bri­an Rose, David Led­man, and Bo Led­man and met his soon to be wife Ker­ri. I lost my vir­gin­i­ty. I learned what a glo­ri­ous thing Stolich­naya vod­ka can be. I made friends with Mea­gan Call. I down­loaded my first mp3 using Nap­ster. I decid­ed to be room­mates in a dou­ble (glo­ri­ous! more room!) with the lone engi­neer in the sec­tion, Mike Cas­tora­no. I suc­cess­ful­ly walked on to the Notre Dame Fenc­ing Team. I ate at both Bibler’s Pan­cake House and CJ’s Pub in the same day.

Fencing Video

instead of writ­ing one of my 4 papers, yes­ter­day was spent log­ging, cap­tur­ing, and edit­ing my trib­ute to the 2002–2003 Nation­al Cham­pi­ons: The Notre Dame Fenc­ing Team. Not only was it fun to get back behind an edit­ing util­i­ty, i also got to be a bit nos­tal­gic over the days in HS when i would make music videos for var­i­ous sports upcom­ing tour­na­ments. i’m not going to post a link to the video because some of you schmoes who read this are on the fenc­ing team. NO PEEKING!

in the next two weeks i’m going to recap my var­i­ous years here at ND. they posts will prob­a­bly be long and unin­ter­est­ing. as opposed to the typ­i­cal short and unin­ter­est­ing.

Easter Weekend

as usu­al i accom­plished lit­tle enough this east­er week­end, but hope­ful­ly i will get sig­nif­i­cant­ly more done today. i final­ly get to do some video edit­ing after a hia­tus of a few months. unfor­tu­nate­ly i have a fenc­ing recep­tion in the rotun­da of the main build­ing right smack dab in the mid­dle of the 6 hour slot that the lab is open. that kin­da blows. i had two ban­quets last week and three more com­ing up on the 29th, 30th, and 1st. crazi­ness. with all this food eat­ing i won­der if i will have time to write my papers.